Introduced to batik her junior year in high school, by Mrs. Betty Aamott in Bloomington, Illinois, Natalie Guess started toward her career as a batik artist. Spending numerous hours teaching herself from a book, she went on to college where she majored in art and minored in business yet spent much of her time experimenting in batik in her dorm room.
In 1979, she moved to Naples and focused on her artform and participated in art shows on the weekends, while working various jobs. She met Phil Fisher in 1980 then married him in 1981 and her life became a life of art, as he was an artist, too. They opened their gallery/frame shop in 1983, had 2 children and set their path for the next 40 years.
As artists, they crafted a life that evolved around art. Involved in every aspect of art, Natalie was in numerous shows, taught classes in batik and pottery for 38 years and won a number of awards for her masterful batik, including at “Paint Grand Traverse,” a plein air event where she was the only batik artist. As a pioneer in this medium, she continues to have an obsession for working with this art form that paints hot clear wax on silk and colors the fabric with dyes one step at a time to create a fine art painting.
After seven locations, including 14 years on 5th Ave S, they settled in Crayton Cove in the Phil Fisher Gallery/Studio and the Guess-Fisher Gallery together in the space. Guess is one of the artists they feature in the gallery as well as Jan Ellen Atkielski, Janet Kirby, Kevin Barton, Phil Fisher and others.
The show for the month of January is “Unique Blends,” a collection of various mediums blending together to create a unique environment. They, along with Random Acts of Art and Paws Pet Boutique are some of the local businesses that make up the shopping area called Crayton Cove and are located where 8th St S & 12th Ave S meet at the flagpole by Naples Bay.